Letters to the Editor

by Emily Wilson
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We recently received two letters with questions about the article, "Implement engineering strategies to reduce grain dust explosions" in the April 2000 issue, page 52. We asked Calvin B. Parnell Jr., the author of the article and a professor in the Department of Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, U.S., to respond.

Mineral oil on rice

Dear editor,

Is mineral oil as effective for dust suppression on rice as it is for corn, and why is it not conducive for wheat?

Zhang Guoliang

Zhejiang Grain Institute,

Hangzhou, China

Editor's reply:

Dr. Parnell writes: "We did not test the effectiveness of mineral oil application for rice. However, I would expect that it would not be as effective. When we found that approximately one-half of the allowable application rate of mineral oil (100 ppm or 0.75 gallons per 1000 bushels) would achieve the maximum effectiveness for grain sorghum (milo), we concluded that this was a consequence of the shape of the grain. In other words, corn (maize) has more ‘flat' surface area than milo. Our logic was that the small dust particle contacted more of the flat grain surface with a covering of oil than it would a curved surface like milo. Rice and wheat have a shape more like milo."

Cyclone suppliers

Dear editor,

Can you send me information about possible suppliers of the 1D3D cyclone?

Raul Frugoli

Asociacion de Cooperativas

Argentinas, San Lorenzo,

Rosario, Argentina

Editor's reply:

Dr. Parnell writes: "The 1D3D design is not patented and anyone can build their own cyclone. There are no specific suppliers. The 1D3D is an ideal cyclone for capturing grain dust. While it has been used by the cotton ginning industry for approximately 20 years, its use by the grain industry has been limited. Typically, grain dust has a particle size distribution with 50% larger that 14 micrometers. In our tests on grain dust, we achieve cyclone efficiencies exceeding 98%."

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